115,000 men, women and children are waiting on a lifesaving transplant; in Kentucky that number is around 1,000. Being a registered organ donor is so important to many donor and recipient families across the entire state of Kentucky. It’s very significant in my life as well.
My name is Crysta McGee and I am a Community Educator for Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust for Life in conjunction with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates. I focus on youth and multicultural outreach. My story starts way before my job and only begins to explain why Kosair Charities means so much to me, TFL and KODA. All of our missions converge; all three organizations are involved in helping save lives.
My granddad was living the best retired life. While I went away to college, all that began to change for him. He started going into renal failure and was put on dialysis several days a week. The only cure for dialysis is a kidney transplant. Unfortunately, Granddaddy was ineligible for transplant for many reasons.
I saw my family’s situation and basically stereotyped organ donation and transplants (like many other people)- I thought it was something that just impacted older people. It would never happen to me nor anyone younger than me.
I was TOTALLY wrong.
The first day I walked into the TFL office on the Eastern Parkway Kosair Charities Campus (also known as the house of good deeds to me), I was hit with so many stories and pictures of children that have been impacted by this wonderful mission. Seeing these Kosair Kids® in the flesh has totally changed my way of thinking about donation and about life in general.
Louisville resident, Eleanor received a heart transplant when she was just 2 months old- she’s now 7, loves going to school and playing with her little sister.
Riley was born with Restrictive Cardiomyopathy. His parents were told he wouldn’t make it to 2 years old. Thanks to someone saying yes to donation, Riley just celebrated his 13th birthday and he’s competing in the upcoming Transplant Games of America. Posters of him are featured in Circuit Court Clerks Offices across the state.
Keegan saved 5 lives when he was 6 years old- 3 with his organs and his heart valves saved 2 little boys around his age. 75% of donated heart valves go to pediatric patients. I never got the chance to meet Keegan, but I know he was an awesome little dude from working with his mom Shannon.
Many more stories could be told about the people I’ve met and the stories I’ve been moved by, but I’ll spare you some reading!
We have space to celebrate these kids and their families as well as funds to go around the state and tell their stories thanks to Kosair Charities! Our partnership makes our reach even greater just by having the Kosair name attached.
Registering as an organ donor simply means if I could save a life, I would save a life. It could possibly help one of our Kosair Kids!
Remember to say YES to organ donation and be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. Happy Donate Life Month! DonateLifeKY.org
To learn more about Trust for Life click here.